As you might have heard, there was a massive earthquake that hit northern Japan yesterday. Some of you might also know from the last blog post that a group of students and some of our guides were to arrive in Japan yesterday. They are all in safe areas right now, so thank you for your concerns. Read on to find out the status of our upcoming tours.
A little bit more about the earthquake – the epicenter of the quake hit off shore in the Pacific Ocean near Sendai:
Right now the area near the shore & nearby cities are devastated. Up to date live news can be heard here: http://yokosonews.com/live/
Areas in Tokyo also felt the quake (and many aftershocks) and Narita and Haneda airports are currently closed, all highways are closed, and train lines are down to check for damages.
Although the quake was large in magnitude, it looks like the Tokyo area has not suffered much damage, and the Kansai regions (Kyoto, Osaka) are still in operation.
Tsunami warnings have been issued to all coastal areas. According to the JR East website, trains in the Tokyo area are expected to return to partial service at around 8AM (3PM PST), all other trains are postponed.
It will take 1-2 days to access damages and to tell if it will affect any of our current travel plans.
So, to update those concerned about if their tour will be running, the answer is, we’re hopeful but will have to wait.
ANIME INSIDER TOUR
If you have arranged your flight to get into Japan earlier than the 14th, you may want to see if they have a policy to change your flight to a later date. Your hotel reservations may also have a policy allowing you to reschedule in the case of an emergency. For those flying with us from LAX, Korean Air has not made any changes to our flight schedule. Ultimately we will have to wait to hear word on the status of the Tokyo area and we will keep everyone updated.
SAKURA SPRING TOUR
Because this tour starts in the Kansai region, it will not be affected. For those taking the extension to Tokyo, we will have to wait to see what the status is, however by April we expect all transportation to be up and running.
FANGIRL PARADISE TOUR
Well into May, we presume this tour will be good to go.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please do feel free to contact us.
Tour Coordinator – Pop Japan Travel
UPDATE 03/11/11 3:55PM PST:
JR Lines in Tokyo have begun to partially running.
JR stations have release information saying that some of their sensors were damaged so they are unable at access the northern area fully.
Half of Japan is completely safe. Coastal areas have tsunami warnings, but areas far from the epicenter like midland Hokkaido, the Kansai region (includes Kyoto, Osaka, etc.), and Okinawa are untouched. Areas with devastating damage by both earthquake and tsunami: Miyagi, Fukushima, & Ibaraki prefectures
If you would like to help, you can go to this website for some of your options: